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A pilot exploration of the use of compassionate images in a group of self-critical people

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Self-criticism has long been associated with a variety of psychological problems and is often a key focus for intervention in psychotherapy. Recent work has suggested that self-critics have underelaborated and underdeveloped capacities for compassionate self-soothing and warmth. This pilot study developed a diary for monitoring self-attacking and self-soothing thoughts and images. It also explored the personal experiences of a group of volunteer self-critics from the local depression support group who were given training in self-soothing and self-compassion. Although using small numbers, this study suggests the potential value of developing more complex methodologies for studying the capacity for self-compassion, interventions to increase self-compassion (including imagery techniques), and their effects on mental health.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kingsway Hospital, Derby, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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